Thomas Ultican

I have joined with other like minded educators and supporters of public education to stop the destroy-public-education movement; financed by billionaire “philanthropists” over the past more than three decades. I see their push to end democratic control of local schools as a step toward plutocracy.

The education historian, writer and scholar, Diane Ravitch, recently stated, “Tom Ultican, retired teacher of physics and advanced mathematics, has become a scholar of the privatization movement.” She also noted, “Tom Ultican has been writing a series of brilliant studies of cities where the Destroy Public Education Movement is busily undermining and privatizing its public schools…”

I taught high school physics and mathematics in a school with more the 50% EL’s and 75% Title 1 students where I saw first hand that poverty is the biggest problem facing today’s students and their schools.

In 1999, I got tired of doing research in Silicon Valley and decided to teach. I like technology and have used it to enhance my teaching, but isolating youths at screens responding to computer algorithms is destructive of creativity, authentic learning and social growth. That style of education technology is merely profiteering.

Teaching is the hardest job I ever had and I loved it!

17 Responses to “Thomas Ultican”

  1. March 18, 2017 at 12:39 am #

    Thank you for helping me smile! NGSS are unintelligible! I am a retiring Az Chemistry/Physics teacher who actually wants to teach 3rd and 4th grade math/science.

    I was attempting to sort out how do I make this happen in my current 8th grade class and was getting ill thinking I had become too old. I am reassured now.

    Those thing would terrify any poor parent wanting to understand what is being taught.

    My administrators keep telling me to dumb it down and follow it all at the same time which is not possible.

    The 8th grade math teachers are mad at me “for stealing their thunder”. I try to explain math is one of many languages (equations, graphs and charts, word descriptions, images, 3d models) and modeling methods and I MUST use it ready or not!

    meanwhile my very deeply christian students of my current 8th grade class are really pissed off by ALL THE EVOLUTION. I don’t need to die to know hell!

    The math teacher is pissed because i need to teach the math to make the models.

    No one understands the damned standards, I am not faking it, so my integrity burns as everyone blow smoke up each others rear parts. I look like I don’t know what I am doing.
    “DEFINED STEM” IS NO WHERE CLOSE TO BEING AN ALL INCLUSIVE one stop shop. and it is not easy, done, realistic, and it just slick marketing. Many STEM NGSS products on the market are also facades. PHET being the exception. (and they don’t charge figure that?)

    Math and science are the coolest stuff ever. Pure joy! and this new endless testing and top down operation are stealing my life joy from me!

    Thank you for helping me feel less alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pierian Spring June 4, 2018 at 3:17 am #

    You remind me of this anti-privatization crusader in Philadelphia— exhaustive research on the entangling alliances between business and school boards and privatization organizations – do you know her work?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. john Bill May 9, 2019 at 6:02 pm #


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy O'Leary Carey May 29, 2019 at 3:28 am #

    Mr. Ultican,

    I was learning about DPE and the danger to public education when the San Diego Free Press closed down.
    Where should I go to be able to read your articles as I did with Free Press?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy O"Leary Carey February 5, 2020 at 6:18 pm #

      Mr. Ultican,

      Where do I go to read your posts?

      Liked by 1 person

      • tultican February 5, 2020 at 8:19 pm #

        They are all available at


      • Cathy O'Leary Carey February 7, 2020 at 12:01 am #

        Thank you.
        I look forward to reading your posts and appreciate the work you are doing to keep us informed about the DPE movement.


        Liked by 1 person

  5. Colleen February 5, 2020 at 3:30 am #

    I am thrilled to find the wealth of resources contained in this website. Thank you for putting words to the struggle!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ray C. Zulueta Jr November 21, 2020 at 1:08 am #

    I am currently battling this exact system in Stockton, CA. It’d be amazing to speaking with you and possibly get your support on ensuring this information reaches broader audiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tultican November 21, 2020 at 4:33 pm #

      I am a little confused about what you are asking for here. I know Stockton is one of California’s most targeted cities by billionaire privatizers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rruterbuschgmailcom January 23, 2021 at 5:04 pm #

    Hi, Mr. Ultican-

    I am a parent of two students in the SDUHSD district in North County San Diego. Everything that you wrote about in your 2018 VOSD article is coming true. The district is being attacked by anti-union, pro “choice”/charter school forces under the guise of the pandemic school-reopening debate. These forces have even created a new “North County Parent Association” which clearly follows the DPE agenda.

    We have another well-organized group of concerned parents in the district who are trying to fight this and want to prevent our award winning public school district from being destroyed. We would appreciate meeting with you or setting up a Zoom to get your insight and help with developing a strategy. Please contact me at my email address or let me know how we can connect. Thank you!


  8. Michael GILE May 1, 2021 at 11:09 am #

    I think that children need to learn how to think. My children regurgitate things they “learned” in school, but when asked a question, can’t give a firm answer for their reasoning.


    • tultican May 1, 2021 at 12:56 pm #

      One of the most frustrating things about the last 20 years of plutocrat driven education “reform” is that it has almost ended actual school improvement efforts and in fact pushed school practices in a counterproductive direction. Instead of identifying and sharing teaching methods that promoted thinking and concentrate on what each unique child is doing right, we got a standardized movement that forced on us check lists that identify what deficit each child has. This has pushed education away from developing thinking and creativity and towards successfully answering trivia. Reasoning has been ignored.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: